Our Top 10 Stories of 2015


The New School’s Top 10 Stories of 2015 provides a look back at some of the biggest beer news of the year, new breweries, buyouts, and guides to Portland’s best but is topped by an article on a new brewing technique changing the way beer is made. It’s been a wild year full of buyouts and big beer news where we used to struggle to find daily news to posting 3 stories a day. Here is a countdown of our Top 10 Stories of 2015.


#10 Fort George Looks to Purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev; Search for Investors in the Preliminary Stages


This one cracks me up and I cannot believe it made our top 10, but that’s a testament to Fort George Brewery’s April Fools Day announcement that the companyy was looking to purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev. I guess this fake story caught on and was picked up by other forums and outlets, which has led to a long life of traffic, though it was not a big story at the time.

New Breakside Brewery brewpub NW Portland

#9 Breakside Brewery to Open New Northwest Portland Brewpub


We were one of the first media outlets to report on plans for Breakside Brewery’s 3rd location in Northwest Portland. The new brewpub will produce its own brews, feature a full restaurant and outdoor patio/beer garden, and is scheduled to open by summer 2016.

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing accepts the Willamette Week Beer of the Year Award

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing accepts the Willamette Week Beer of the Year Award

#8 2015 Oregon Beer Awards Winners and Recap


The first annual Oregon Beer Awards ceremony held at the Doug Fir lounge was a big hit and also a bit of a shit show. Still, it was a great showcase for the Oregon beer industry and it was a lot of fun to see so many of the community out in droves. We got some great photos and a full recap of last years winners. The 2016 awards are to be held February 23rd, and the production is being scaled up and taking place at Revolution Hall in Portland. It promises to be an even more spectacular affair.

Produce Row © The New School

Produce Row © The New School

#7 10 Best Beer Bars with Outdoor Patios & Beer Gardens in Portland


Our guide to Portland’s beer gardens and patios at beer bars and taphouses was a long time coming, extensively researched and had some great photos to boot. We think it’s worth bookmarking for when summer of 2016 rolls around.


#6 Full Sail Brewing Employees Vote to Sell to Private Equity Firm


The New School broke the news that Full Sail Brewing’s employee owners voted to sell the company to a newly formed private equity firm. What does this mean for the previously employee-owned company and the future of this landmark Oregon brewery?

Elysian brewing hop logo

#5 Elysian Brewing Sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev


The biggest brewery sale news of the year (at least here in the Pacific Northwest) was Seattle, Washington’s Elysian Brewing’s sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev. The sale has also been very controversial, and not just because of the sellout, but because co-owner and face of the brewery Dick Cantwell has publicly objected to the sale and eventually quit the company.


#4 Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Is Being SOLD to new Uptown Market LLC


One of the most controversial stories of the year was that of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales sale to parties from Uptown Market and Tin Bucket. Due to negotiations not being finalized–and I can only assume negative fan reaction–the sale is still not finalized and has been shaken up a bit. Uptown Market is no longer involved, but original minority owner John Plutshack and his partners are still in negotiations to take over ownership. Meanwhile, Logsdon has opened a new taproom in downtown Hood River and soldiers on.

Steve Luke, founder/brewer of Cloudburst Brewing

Steve Luke, founder/brewer of Cloudburst Brewing

#3 Steve Luke of Elysian Brewing Breaks Off to Open Cloudburst Brewing


The New School was one of the first news outlets to officially break the news about the public secret that Elysian Brewing’s Steve Luke was planning to open his own brewery called Cloudburst Brewing. Steve has been a good friend of The New School and sent special beers down for many cool Portland events we are involved in, and was thus more than happy to do an interview with us on his new brewery. Coincidentally, Cloudburst Brewing’s tasting room opens this weekend in Seattle.


#2 Double Mountain to Open Southeast Portland Taproom


It’s no surprise that when we broke the news to the world that Double Mountain Brewery was opening a taproom/pub in southeast Portland that the story would be a hit. Double Mountain is one of Oregon’s most beloved breweries, located an hour out of Portland up in Hood River. People love the pizza and pub almost as much as the beer. So naturally, people were very excited about this news and other more mainstream publications picked up the story and linked back to The New School for breaking the scoop.

The Commons bar beer glass

#1 How Kettle Souring is Making Sour Beer Cheap and Affordable


Our most popular article of 2015 is still consistently one of our most read articles to this day, proving that kettle souring is the wave of the future, like it or not. The kettle souring technique actually dates back quite a while, but only recently was rediscovered by brewers like Tonya Cornett who pioneered the modern method with beers like Ching Ching for Bend Brewing Co. Our article traces kettle souring’s new and long-term effects on sour and tart ales, from sales and production to the consumer to brewing methods from the experts.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com